An ~Honest~ Review of Lollapalooza 2019

Well, I did the thing. I tackled the music festival giant that is Lollapalooza Chicago…even if it was just for two of the days. Plenty has been said about this fest, so I’m here to break down the hype and the facts from my point of view.

  • The Hype: The location is dope because it’s in the middle of the third largest city in America, what more could you ask for?
    • The Facts: Believe it or not, this is true. Lollapalooza Chicago does in fact take place in Chicago. Wild, I know.
    • On the real though, it is cool that C3 (the company in charge of Lolla), is able to transform a major downtown park into a 4-day festival that functions smoothly each year. You have the opportunity to explore Chicago before or after the festival (I wouldn’t recommend leaving during the fest because the entry line gets very long, very fast). And public transport along with bike-sharing apps make it easy to get around to all the must-sees Chicago has to offer.
  • The Hype: Because it’s in the middle of a major city, Lollapalooza draws a major crowd every year. Forget “Winter is Coming,” Lolla is Coming and she is a BEAST.
    • The Facts: I haven’t seen that many high schoolers since the Hoodie Allen concert I went to in 2012. There are youths E.V.ER.Y.W.H.E.R.E. which makes total sense when you think about it. If you lived within driving distance of Chicago growing up, this is THE thing to do over the first weekend of August. I’m only 25 and I felt like I skipped right over the quarter-life crisis to go head first into a mid-life crisis while I was there.
    • Pro-tip: Thursday and Friday weren’t bad in terms of crowds, so if you want to experience Lollapalooza, but don’t want to deal with long lines and wait times, the earlier days are the ones for you.
  • The Hype: Dope lineup. Every Year.
    • The Facts: to sum it up in one word…yes. Even if you only skim the headliners of this years lineup, it’s hard for your jaw not to drop. Lollapalooza kills the game with both genre variety and keeping up with who is going to draw in the crowds.
      • 2019 Headliners: The Strokes, The Chainsmokers, Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots. J Balvin, Ariana Grande, and Flume.
    • Something that shouldn’t be overshadowed here is the undercard. While Lolla’s headliners grab your eye, the undercard keeps your gaze. Hats off to C3 on their ability to curate an A+ group of artists each year.

If I could change one thing about Lollapalooza Chicago, it would be the experiences to do outside of the music. It wasn’t often, but there were a few times I found myself with time to kill in between sets without a place to go. Don’t get me wrong, Lolla had a great merch shop, wide selection of Chicago-based food stalls, and some cool bars set up. But outside of that, I feel like a lot of the activities offered were photo optimization experiences catered to getting the perfect Instagram pic, which, when you think about the age range of most people going to this festival, makes perfect sense.

I know what you’re thinking, “Lollapalooza is in the heart of Chicago Jill, if you want to do something so bad then move your glitter-covered butt out into the city between sets.” But hear me out, once you’ve waited an hour or more to get in, you don’t want to do that again when it’s closer to the bigger acts. Also, I never got into the whole glitter butt thing, but throw some glitter highlight my way and I’m all yours.

Final words. I’m glad I went and the sets I saw were incredible. I’ve seen a lot of these acts multiple times at other festivals, and you can tell that they step up their game for Lollapalooza. Whether that was through insane graphics and pyrotechnics, or surprise featured guests that weren’t even on the lineup. *Cough cough* Bebe Rexha, Ty Dolla $ign, Isaac Slade were just a few of the people to come on during Chainsmokers set. If you’re a festival junkie, you have to check Lolla off your list; just make sure to brush up on your Gen Z slang before you go and take advantage of everything Chicago has to offer while you’re there. Lollapalooza is known worldwide for a reason, and the hardwork that has gone into this festival since 1991 shows.

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